Diablo II changed the game when it was released by Blizzard Entertainment in June 2000. Pick up where the original left off 1997, while taking a leap forward in complexity, immersion, and pure addiction to its hack-and-slash and loot-chasing gameplay, it delivered an experience that engaged gamers and voraciously consumed hundreds of hours of each of their lives. Even more memorable, however, was its downright obnoxious imagery, calling upon players to descend into the depths of hell and unleash mayhem at every turn. It could hardly have been more metal if it had tried …
With fully-3D, 4K remastering Diablo II: Resurrected on servers and shelves this week, die-hard fans and newcomers alike will be able to return to the town of Tristram, and beyond, to face the relentless fire and brimstone of the series, while again floundering until knees in blood and guts. Landscapes streaked with blood have never been so terrifying. Its hordes of undead, major and minor demons have never seemed so alive. Hell, Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia even wrote a song with Italian YouTube supremo Mark The Hammer to celebrate her release.
“I’ve been listening to Lacuna Coil from the start-2000s, ”smiles associate art director and confessed headbanger Dustin King, joining us today in explaining why there has never been a better time for metalheads to jump on board. “As a metal lover, seeing an artist as great as Cristina connect with something you’ve worked on is a real honor. Nowadays, a lot of metal bands have grown up with video games. They are influenced by our content the same way we are influenced by theirs. They are artists influenced and jazzed up by each other, which is always great to see! And it’s a heavy metal game. No matter what character you play or how you choose to play, metal fans will find so much here to enjoy!
Interested in knowing why exactly this could be the most metal video game of all time? Stay a while and listen …
Many Diablo II: Resurrected developers are metalheads
It is no coincidence that Diablo II first arrived at the height of the nu-metal phenomenon, when crunch sounds dominated the charts and invaded the general public. “I remember going to college then, ”says Dustin. “You could see the metal starting to influence the developers. Composers used rock and metal albums as an influence for all of their scores, taking inspiration from that vibe and mood. Then you got the more aggressive aspects of the metal in the marketing materials. Diablo II was definitely a part of that.
When it comes to the remaster, Dustin and many of his colleagues turned to metal as a soundtrack they could draw inspiration from. Growing up just across the state border from their base in Richmond, Virginia’s Lamb Of God is one of their favorite bands, along with deathcore bands like Aborted and Shadow Of Intent. Listening to Lorna Shore’s To The Hellfire, he felt he was a perfect fit for OTT approach to imagery in Diablo II: Risen. “We went more blood, more blood, more fire, more pentagrams. We really inflated it.
Dustin is excited that if the opportunity presented itself, he would love to see the “Mid-paced Ghost sounds layered over Diablo, while Cradle Of Filth would also be a dark and delicious match: “Screams ? The treble? The mood? The atmosphere? Everything is Diablo. Even doing an interview like this to present the team’s work to a specifically metal audience, he tells us, is a real privilege.
“As a longtime metal fan, working on this track – and talking about it with Kerrang! – we have the impression that everything comes together. I would definitely say that Diablo II is the heaviest metal game of all time … “
The Devil has always had all the best tunes
With its blend of dark fantasy, demonic horror, and epic good versus evil adventure, the original game demanded a soundtrack suitable for shadow combat. Where some developers would have made the obvious choice to layer on a fast paced, upbeat track, Diablo insisted that atmosphere was key and turned to genres adjacent to ambient dark folk metal and ambient industrial to evoke the kind of nightmare soundscape that metal fans will be more than familiar with.
“Everyone remembers this song from the opening of Diablo II called Tristram, ”says Dustin. “When original songwriter Matt Uleman wrote this song, he talked about trying to capture old psychedelic rock, Led Zeppelin III kind of feeling. This is the tone with which you are launched in the game, from the start: very sullen, very dark, very textured… ”
We don’t mess with the classics either. One of Diablo’s key philosophical pillars II: The development of Resurrected was that the game was already recognized as an all-time favorite for good reason, and that extended to the soundtrack. “This game is so popular that we didn’t really want to change it, ”Dustin continues. “People know what they remember and they want what they remember. The music was very special to the players of this game. We have a remastered song in there, but we don’t touch the original score. It’s way too special, way too iconic.
The Bloodied Landscape of Sanctuary is Actually an Interactive Album Cover
Whether it is wandering the streets of Tristram, traversing the Eastern Desert in search of the tomb of Tal Rasha, entering the shadowy dungeons or descending into the depths of Hell itself. , the story of our group of adventurers rushing to stop the Lord of Terror from raining chaos around the world predictably lends itself to iconic visuals.
Although Dustin points out that Diablo IIThe emphasis on atmosphere and fear has more of an atmospheric doom or black metal vibe, fast-paced action and emphasis on OTT The demonic images will surely also appeal to fans of thrash and power metal. Hell, the game even shares its fondness for flaming pentagrams with the mighty Slayer.
“The great thing about this game is that you can go all kinds of places and find album art somewhere, ”Dustin continues. “And with the clarity of the enhanced graphics, you can see all of those scenes which are basically heavy metal album covers staged throughout the game. You don’t get much more metal than burning pentagrams, buckets of blood, bodies on fire and tortured souls emerging from the pits of hell. It really is metal!
The Dark Wanderer will haunt your dreams
Great stories need compelling villains, and there is none more compelling or painfully tragic than The Dark Wanderer, which appears prominently in Diablo. II: Completely remastered cut scenes from Remastered and through marketing material. An older version of the Heroic Warrior from the first game who apparently defeated Diablo by merging with the Demon Soul Stone, he reappears in Sanctuary after being corrupted by the darkness within …
“When you first meet him in the game, he’s human, ”says Dustin. “He is very brooding, he has a hood, he looks important. But then it turns out he has become a ship – spoiler alert – for the Devil. He feels like the kind of iconic figure who can connect with anyone interested in this kind of music, a representation of what metal is.
“One of the things I’ve always loved about metal – and this game – is this concept of good versus evil and how you get out of it. The Dark Wanderer is someone you travel with and get to know, and then all of a sudden this big event happens and you have to [come to terms] and know what to do next. It’s metal. That’s life. Metal has helped us all get through some really tough situations, taking the good and the bad, mixing it up and crushing whatever is in front of us.
These scorching hellish landscapes never looked so good
Twenty-one is a lifetime in game development, and Diablo II: Resurrected takes full advantage of technological developments over the years 2000 to bring the game back to life with an unparalleled high production sparkle that feels cutting edge while retaining the core and core gameplay of the original. Blizzard was waiting for the material to catch up with its vision that the remaster of this all-time great deserves, and now that it has – through computer and consoles, with the game first appearing on PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch – they’ve committed to bringing it out of the park.
“Diablo II is the holy grail, ”Dustin nods reverently. “He is regarded in the gaming industry as the big guy, the one everyone wants to be treated with the utmost respect. You get this 20– plus a year-long leap in technology, which could make the game almost unrecognizable. But I think we did a good job keeping what made the original so special. When people look at this version and tell me [despite it being vastly improved] that this is how they remember the original game in their heads, I take that as a huge compliment.
“Obviously this was built with our passionate fanbase in mind, but we’re also very happy to open up the world of Diablo to tons of people who haven’t had access to it before, or never been able to. play it. computer in its former glory. We hope this will attract new players who will experience the beauty of this game the same way we experienced it back then. It has been an amazing experience to touch a piece of history like this. This kind of experience does not happen too often… ”
Diablo II: Resurrected is now available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox X / S and computer.
Posted on September 23, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.